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Day trip: Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Courtesy photo

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

• Location: Located 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe and 55 miles northeast of Albuquerque. From Albuquerque: Take the exit for Santo Domingo/Cochiti Lake Recreation Area (Exit 259) off I-25 onto NM 22. Follow the signs on NM 22 to Cochiti Pueblo and Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Turn right off NM 22 at the pueblo water tower (painted like a drum) onto Tribal Route 92, which connects to Forest Service Road 266. From the fee station, travel five miles on a gravel road to the national monument’s designated parking/picnic area and trailhead.

• From Santa Fe: Take the Cochiti Pueblo Exit 264 off I-25 onto NM 16. Turn right off NM 16 onto NM 22, and follow the signs to Cochiti Pueblo and the national monument.

• What activities can you enjoy at this location: With 4,645 acres of land, the national monument includes a national recreational trail. It is for foot travel only, and contains two segments that provide opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, geologic observation and plant identification. The monument offers an opportunity to observe, study, and experience the geologic processes that shape natural landscapes. The cone-shaped tent rock formations are the products of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago and left pumice, ash and tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick.

• What ages is this place best suited for?: All ages

• Admission prices?: Private vehicles: $5; Group rates: Up to 25 individuals — $25, 25 to 100 individuals — $100.

• Hours of operation: Winter (Nov. 1 to March 10): 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gates close at 4 p.m.; Summer (March 11 to Oct. 31) 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Gates close at 6 p.m.

• Information: 505-761-8700

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